Questions Before Buying New Gutters

professional gutter installation

The first thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer many of the subsequent questions you’ll have before making your final selection. 

There are really only three reasons you may be in the market for new gutters: 

  • An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can drastically affect the appearance of your home, increasing its curb appeal in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping. 
  • A New Home – Building a new home comes with a constant stream of decisions about both appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Choosing the first gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last approximately 20 years. 
  • A Renovation – If your roof has experienced damage, the gutters may need to be replaced, too. Or, they may simply be aging and need to be replaced. 

You obviously know why you are replacing your home’s gutters, but the reason often has underlying motivations… 

You want to sell your home. 

You want to renovate without spending a lot of money. 

Your landscaping is being ruined by ineffective gutters. 

Figuring out your “Why” will often give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are worth spending your money on or if you can go a less expensive route with a similar result. 

Here are the major questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.

3 Questions Before Buying Gutters 

Which Type of Gutter Material is Best?

The fun part of choosing new gutters is choosing the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your personal preference. 

These are the options you will have, in order of cost: 

  • Vinyl and Plastic

Vinyl and plastic are economical options that hold up well in most scenarios, except in extremely cold climates, where they can become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are sufficient in almost every region of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors. 

  • Metal and Aluminum

These mid-priced options are both attractive and durable. Both materials come in a variety of colors as well. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will resist rust and corrosion even better. 

  • Copper and Stainless Steel

Of all the gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most eye-catching as well. Homeowners who choose these options are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get! 

What are Important Gutter Features?

Most of the gutter types above will offer both of these options: 

Sectional or Seamless 

  • Sectional gutters – These types of gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, many homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the less expensive choice, and they have more seams, which means more areas where leaks can occur. 
  • Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a contractor because they require special equipment. They are more expensive to purchase and install, but less likely to leak that sectional gutters. 

K-Style or Half-Round

  • K-Style –K-Style gutters are far more popular because they look great with virtually any style home. They are better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This attributes to their popularity. In addition, they are easy to install. Many homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters. 
  • Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally made of copper and steel, and they complement rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they give homes a regal, established appearance. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are harder to install, but easier to clean out, when the time comes. 

Should You Factor in Sacramento Climate?

The climate of your region may dictate a lot about which gutters you can have. As we already mentioned, certain materials don’t hold up well in extremely cold climates. 

The most important climate factor to consider is how much work the gutters will have to do. In other words, how much water are your gutters going to need to handle? 

Believe it or not, you don’t have to guess at this. Professional roofers can take several factors into account to get a good idea of the size and type of gutters that will work best for your home. 

The Formula

Luckily, the formula professional contractors use is no secret. Here are the pieces of specific information you will need to decide how large your gutters should be: 

  • Average Rainfall –This statistic can be found on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also check the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the max amount of rain that can happen within a 5-minute span.
  • Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for basic roofs. However, you will need to figure all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs. 
  • Roof-Pitch Factor – A steep roof will collect more wind-blown rain than a less sloped roof. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor will help you estimate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics. 

Likelihood of Snow

Snowfall will be included in average precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows often in your region, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams, which can severely damage your roof. 

Of course, the final question is arguably the most important.

Professional Gutter Installation

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You also need to ask yourself if you’re willing to do the work yourself, or if you want to pay a professional to install your new gutters. EPIC Gutter Cleaning ensures maximum efficiency, versus doing it yourself. Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the job will be done right. 

An added bonus of hiring someone experienced to install your gutters is that they can help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type. 

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